Do you believe people come into our lives for a reason? And that the timing is not accidental or random? I do. I also know we can be so tightly wound, so busy, so pre-occupied we don’t notice their arrival. Or the significance of their presence.
Nearly thirty years ago I sought the help of a support group for sufferers of alopecia areata (patchy baldness). It’s a common condition afflicting about one in a hundred people and is less severe than alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. It’s believed to be an auto-immune condition with no known cause and no known cure. The fact that our son was diagnosed with this life altering condition drove me to look for help anywhere and everywhere.
I totally get that in the grand scheme of life there are many, many worse things that could have happened to him or our family. But in a world of snap judgments made based on external appearance this can be a debilitating thing to deal with. The last thing any mother wants is to see her child suffer so the hunt for a cure was on.
Trouble is, there is no cure. So he, we needed to learn to live with this mystery that turns lives upside down. I became involved with the Edmonton branch of a national organization devoted to making life easier. I wrote a newsletter for years offering information and hope because when a cure eludes you That’s all you’ve got.
At one of the support group meetings psychologist Dr. Rona Jevne spoke about hope. Her message was comforting and her name unusual enough that it stuck with me. Every so often I’d read about what she was doing in the world of helping people.
This past week she was interviewed on TV in the lead-up to her appearance at the Edmonton Women’s Show. Three decades disappeared in moments. This day she was talking about the benefits of journaling. I know the benefits of silence, introspection and writing. Unfortunately just because I know something is good for me doesn’t mean I do it.
In many things I talk the talk but don’t walk the walk?at least not consistently. But life keeps giving us chances for do-overs and second tries. This day Dr. Jevne reminded us that we don’t need to just write when we’re in pain or going through something terrible.
She suggested answering these four questions:
? What are my talents?
? Who am I hanging out with?
? What have I locked myself into or out of?
? What delights me?
Maybe writing from a more positive perspective is less daunting than from an angst filled heart. Maybe It’s more revelatory. Maybe I won’t do a damn thing about this info other than tell you. I do know that another visit (even if it was virtual) from Dr. Jevne got me thinking again about hope and promise. If that’s why she came into my life, then That’s a good reason, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites..